Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

This article concludes ultimately that, as he revivifies political Augustinianism, the Holy Father makes two original contributions. He draws on ideas foreign to Augustine, but familiar, respectively, within ancient and modern idealist political philosophy, to secure a basis for endorsing the agenda of the Activist State Augustine would have been compelled to reject. He adopts, as well, the modern construct of Constitutionalism, also unknown to Augustine, to fashion what, ultimately, is not so much a political or moral philosophy, but a philosophy of law devised to animate a particular vision of Church-State relations. In its concluding section, the article calls attention both to the distinctive value of the Pope's position, but also seeks to suggest that-in the high-stakes game of the Church's dialogue with a post-Christian culture-there may be wisdom, even as one proceeds to implement Pope Benedict's program, in cultivating mindfulness of the diversified options in moral and political philosophy and in theologies of Church, ever alive in the larger Catholic tradition. In a first section, this article, thus, sketches the outlines of the Augustinianism and Idealist political philosophy, both Ancient and Modern, influencing Pope Benedict's political philosophy. In a second section, it sets out Pope Benedict's political philosophy. In a third, it adumbrates Pope Benedict's theology of Church. In a fourth, it sets forth Pope Benedict's vision of legal ordering of Church-State relations, and, in its concluding fifth section, it comments on the nature and limits of Pope Benedict's distinctive contribution.

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